Q I'm a huge fan of "How I Met Your Mother." I've read the most recent articles I could find on whether Season 8 will be the last, and most of what I found said that the show and CBS are still in talks. If this turns out to be the last season for the show, how far in advance do the producers need to have an agreement with CBS so that the show can be written to a proper conclusion, considering the continuing story line that the show has?

A Good question. At the TV critics press tour in July, CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler was asked just that. She said CBS would like the show back for a ninth season.

"Well, we're not there yet in terms of resolving the season," Tassler said. "We're in early conversations, and we're pretty optimistic."

That doesn't really answer the question, but considering that shows are usually in production through late March or early April, CBS has time. A decision probably needs to be made by sometime in February, sooner if the goal is to wrap up stories in more than just a couple of episodes.

Get ready for more 'Hot'

Q Will TV Land be showing "Hot in Cleveland" again this year? It is a favorite of mine.

A "Hot in Cleveland" will return to TV Land with new episodes at 9 p.m. on Nov. 28.

CBS lagging in on-demand shows

Q How do TV networks decide what programs to offer on demand? It seems that some networks, specifically CBS, are only hurting themselves by not offering programs on demand or online. There are various shows on CBS I would be willing to try out if they were offered in this manner, as watching "live" TV is not always a viable option. It seems that the other networks offer much more of their programming in these media.

A We've addressed this before because it's a confusing and ever-changing aspect of the current TV landscape. Each network -- or corporation that owns a raft of networks -- has its own priorities and strategy when it comes to making content available online. It's a new area and no one has set upon one "right" way to manage the availability of programming on multiple platforms. Another factor: Sometimes networks don't own the shows they air and they don't have a deal with the producing studio to put a program online. To further complicate matters, network strategies continue to evolve, so the timing of when shows are available online or on demand can change.

There's also the counterargument to putting shows online or on demand: It deprives the network of on-air ratings points it could earn if it forced viewers to watch a program live on TV. But in an era of consumer demand for where-I-want-it, when-I-want-it programming, that argument is becoming antiquated quickly.

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